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Jenny Offill Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Last Things (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dept. of Speculation (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Weather (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Picture Books

17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
11 Experiments That Failed (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sparky! (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
While You Were Napping (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Friend Who Got Away (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Money Changes Everything (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jenny Offill is an American author of contemporary, children’s, literature and fiction books best known for her debut novel Last Things. This book was featured in the New York Times best-sellers list, and it was a finalist in the First Book Award by L.A. Times. Other Offill’s works include two anthologies she coedits with Elissa Schappel and several children’s books. This American born author is an MFA programs teacher at Queens University, Brooklyn College, and Colombia University.

Dept. of Speculation

Dept. of Speculation is a story that portrays marriage. The heroine in this story only referred to as “the wife” exchanged love letters with her husband marked Dept. of Speculations. In these letters, the couple discussed everything from stalled ambitions to a colicky baby. The wife uses the letters to analyze her situation and highlight some of the areas she was not satisfied with. From the nature of a mother’s love to destruction to self that comes with motherhood, The Wife muses over it all.

Infidelity is among the most prominent themes in the story. Ironically, the narrator thinks that Carl and Ann are a romantic duo despite the multiple infidelities. Yet, she does not apply this perspective where her husband’s infidelity is concerned. This shows how easy it is easy to gloss over an affair when you are an outsider. The author makes a sudden change from the first person to the third person after the husband’s infidelity. This pulls the reader from the closeness that was to the present colder and impersonal perspective. The author throws in subtle hints on what is going in the relationship without telling too much.

This book comes with a language shimmering with rage, fierce longing, and wit. With a pace so fast, you will barely have time to catch your breath as the author explores marriage life and its associated challenges. It is common for many couples to start so well only for the union to be permanently damaged when life’s problems arise. This story packs everything from kids to affairs, among other issues that most if not all couples deal with. The book is quite compact meaning that you can devour it in one sitting. However, the impact this little book will have on you will linger way after you have read the last page.
Dept. of Speculation gives an emotionally charged summary of adulthood where childbearing, marriage, and infidelity are concerned. The story comes complete with scientific quotes, literary facts, and philosophical quandaries that add a lot of character to it. The style here helps investigate The Wife and other characters in the story in an intimate abstract perspective. The facts and quotes are mostly quirky, and the colloquialism they come with makes them all the more relatable. This story will take you by the heart by highlighting the trial and tribulations that the narrator endures throughout adulthood. If you are a new mother, this book draws a clear picture of what it feels to be home with a baby. The book is both provocative and healing and will appeal to anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship.

Weather

Weather is more like a tour about the nation and family in time of crisis. The story stars Lizzie Benson, a practicing librarian who also doubles up as a shrink. Lizzie doesn’t have a traditional degree; neither is she a real shrink. However, she has tended to her mother and brother for years, and Lizzie is confident that she can hack being a shrink. Her God-haunted mother and recovering addict brother have stabilized, so Lizzie has more time to spend with her husband and son. All this is before Lizzie’s friend and mentor Sylvia Liller entices her with an exciting opportunity.

Sylvia has recently come into the limelight because of her psychic podcast named Hell and High Water. Thanks to fame, Sylvia has been receiving a lot of mail from people across the world. Sylvia wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail and questions from the fans. To say that the questions are diverse is an understatement. From left-wingers concerned about climate change to those who are worried about western civilization, Lizzie will have a lot on her plate in this new gig. Lizzie is happy to take up this position even if this means spending less time with her family.

It is during her regular job that Lizzie begins to think about her abilities. When Sylvia becomes more of a loner, and her brother becomes a father, Lizzie puts her skills into test. Thanks to her library job, Lizzie had learnt a lot about empathy, conscience, despair, and collusion, and she is sure that she can hack this trade. How does Lizzie handle all the questions from people who expect her to have all the answers? Are these responses even helpful in eliminating anxiety and tension?

Weather is a unique book in that it comes in the form of though snippets. When you think about it, this is precisely how our mind works. Our inner thoughts skip from one idea to another, and the author mimics this process in telling Lizzie’s story. The book is both warm and sardonic, and the narrative voice is quite extraordinary. The author takes a look at serious issues, not just in the domestic front but in society. These issues are addressed with the seriousness they deserve, albeit with a hint of humor that makes the story quite enjoyable.

Weather is a perfect read if you are looking for something short and thrilling. The story reflects a lot in troubled times, but the strange thing is that it is also calming. Lizzie is a likeable character, and so are the other characters featured in this book. Get to see how this young woman manages her busy schedule and maintains sanity despite all that is happening in her life. Offill writes in a unique way which is one of the reasons why her work stands out. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, this here is a perfect choice.

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